Steve Bruce gave us a positive update on the return of Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron during his press conference this morning. From the sound of it, he seems reasonably confident that both will return tomorrow.
Here is some of what he said about the pair:
“They trained yesterday so speaking at the moment we haven’t seen them just yet [today], but they both seemed ok yesterday.
“I wouldn’t take the risk if I didn’t think they were right. I think the risk would have been last week. So I’ve let them recover. With a muscle you’re always on edge.
“We think they’ve done enough in the gym and rehabilitation work this week to make sure they are ok. The big risk would have been playing them last weekend.”
This is a promising sign that both should be ready to go on Saturday. While he started the press conference saying they were both in with a chance, his follow up comments seem to indicate that he expects them to be available.
Bruce was also asked about Miguel Almiron in relation to Jonjo Shelvey, who has found terrific form over the past month, especially in front of goal.
However, Bruce seems thrilled with Miguel’s contributions to the side. He even touched on how we missed his presence last week at Burnley.
This is some of what Bruce had to say about the 25-year-old:
“He’s a smashing player who we all enjoy playing in the team as long as he contributes.
“Look, we would love him to score more goals, of course, we would. But He works every day as if it is his last.
“He comes in. He’s a wonderful professional; he is a great lad, a good player, so I have got no problems with Almiron because of what he gives the team and the threat he causes a team.
“Now if he can add a few goals, great, but at the moment, I am very pleased with him. You always miss your good players, especially at the top end of the pitch.
“With him and Saint-Maximin missing, of course, we are going to be a bit hampered.
“We’ve paid a lot of money for the two of them, so that’s what we brought them here for, to give us that little bit of an edge.
“Last week, we certainly missed them. Sometimes you become a better player by not playing.”
That’s certainly a glowing appraisal of the Paraguayan. We really did miss Miguel last weekend as we had no one to run at Burnley like Almiron and Saint-Maximin do so well.
While he’s not scored yet, his work rate is immense, and he’s so willing to track back when out of possession.
He did get his first assist a few weeks ago against Manchester City when Jetro Willems scored his second goal for Newcastle.
We are reasonably confident that Miguel will be back tomorrow and hopefully that will make a big difference in our threat going forward.
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